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Nutritional Priorities, Part 2 –

Updated: Oct 10, 2022


The Blood Sugar-Behavior Connection . . . I mentioned in my previous blog that the majority of children coming into our care for the first time have likely been nutritionally deprived. Although food is withheld (as punishment) from children in some abusive situations, it is more common that nutritional food is lacking from their diets due to inadequate parental oversight as well as economic deprivation and poverty.

The cheapest foods tend to be high in starch, saturated fats, and sugar. All three are acceptable in moderation, but not as a regular diet. Many children—particularly those entering foster care for the first time—have not received adequate amounts of healthy fruits, vegetables, and low-fat meats in their diets.


Along with the above, many children coming into our care from impoverished home or orphanage settings have an insulin imbalance. This has a direct effect on their behavior as well as their ability to concentrate in school. Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross of the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development (Ft. Worth Texas), report that the brain uses about 60% of the body’s glucose. Children whose’ brains do not get proper nutrition may suffer from a variety of symptoms including anxiety, depression, physical aggression, lethargy, and irritability. Some of their symptoms may even mimic ADHD.

How do we as parents get our children into the habit of healthy eating?—It takes practice and does not happen overnight. Here are some ways to accomplish this goal:


  • Provide healthy snacks every couple of hours between meals

  • Have your child “assist” you in making a grocery list of healthy foods that you will purchase. You may even want to let them come grocery shopping with you.

  • If your child is resistant to eating something healthy (green vegetables, etc.), don’t force him to do so. Be patient. Encourage him to just try a very small amount to begin with.

  • Keep healthy snacks (fruit, low-sugar energy bars, etc). in a bowl where your child can see them every day.

  • Check out www.glycemicindex.com for suggestions on selecting healthy foods with a proper glucose balance.

What are your thoughts and suggestions? I’d love to hear your responses!

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